SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- West Virginians have suffered a major flood disaster every year for the last three years. When the next disaster is declared will you be able to answer yes if asked whether you have flood insurance?
If you are among the many thousands of homeowners and renters who received a grant or loan because of a Federally-declared disaster, and you were given a Group Policy Certificate of Flood Insurance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you are reminded that the policy expires three years from the date it was issued.
"It is important that everyone who is enrolled in FEMA's Group Policy keeps the policy in force by applying for new coverage at least 30 days before the expiration date," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory Eaton. "If West Virginians get a disaster declaration again next year or any subsequent year because of flooding, they'll want to have a policy that is in good standing."
The FEMA Group Flood Policy requires that flood insurance must be maintained at the policyholder's home address even if the home is transferred to a new owner or taken down and rebuilt. New owners must be told that flood insurance on the property is necessary if they want to receive Federal funds in the future after experiencing a flood.
Renters who receive financial assistance must maintain flood insurance coverage of their home's contents as long as they continue to live in the same rental property that was damaged by the flood.
When another Federal disaster is declared, applicants who had a Group Policy and neglected to renew before the three-year expiration date may find they are ineligible for assistance. They are advised to transfer their coverage to a Standard Flood Insurance Policy that can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Information on the flood insurance requirements for people who receive disaster assistance is given at the time they are approved for FEMA assistance. Check the issue date on your FEMA Group Flood Insurance Policy to make sure it is current. If you find you need to purchase a new policy or have any questions call the NFIP at 800-427-4661.
It will be comforting, when the next flood disaster is declared, to know you have an insurance policy that is in force.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.